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Scam targets Idaho Power customers

Idaho Power says they've been seeing an increasing number of these reports (File photo).

It's a growing scam in Idaho — targeting people's fear of having their power shut off.

Victims get a call from someone claiming to be with Idaho Power, demanding money.

Idaho Power says they've been seeing an increasing number of these reports.

"We had a situation today actually," said Gina Powell, Customer Service Operations Manager for Idaho Power. "A customer was called and the [caller] said he was from Idaho Power and he was driving right now to shut off the power and needed immediate payment."

It's a strategy Idaho Power says they would never use. Yet, scammers are faking it and more people are falling for it every day.

The fact of the matter is, scammers know that cashing in on fear works.

"It can be a scary thought when you get that phone call and they say, 'you have not paid your bill and we are going to shut off your power,'" said Emily Valla, Senior Marketplace Director for the Better Business Bureau. "That's already an emotional feeling. Then, [you] think 'oh, my gosh! I could have no power over the weekend, I could lose the food! I am not going to have heat and I have a little one.' All of those things are fear factors that scammers try to prey upon."

Here's what you should know:

  • Idaho Power will never call from a 1-800 phone number.
  • They will never send an unidentified employee to your home, especially without notice.
  • They will never demand immediate payment, particularly over the phone.

"We really encourage people to educate themselves," said Gina. "If you look at your account [online] and know it is up to date then you can hang up that call and feel really good about it!"

If you do get a call like this, do your best to stay calm and don't make any rash decisions like offering over personal information.

If you question if a call is fake — just hang up! Then, go to Idaho Power's website and find the real customer service line and call back to confirm your suspicion.

Finally, if you do end up being a victim of this kind of call, do not hesitate to report it to police.

If you know of a scam you want our audience to know about you can email us at news@kboi2.com or send us a message through the KBOI 2News Facebook page.

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